Dear Mayor Harvie and council members,
As the provincial elected representative of Delta North, I want to congratulate you on your commitment to support the inclusion of Delta’s LGBTQ community. It is incredibly exciting to see our municipal government take steps to ensure all of Delta’s residents feel at home — regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
This is a step in the right direction, because the statistics we see are alarming. According to provincial statistics from 2017, lesbian, gay and bisexual youth were seven times more likely than heterosexual youth to attempt suicide. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research cited that the rate of discrimination of students who identify as LGBTQ is three times higher than heterosexual youth. This discrimination often carries on throughout society, including community spaces and workplaces.
In my work as the Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism, I was tasked to lead a public engagement process preceding the re-establishment of the B.C. Human Rights Commission. During this process, the need for action at a community level was a common theme that I heard. Therefore, I was extremely pleased when I heard of your decision to seriously look into actions the [City] of Delta can take to ensure our LGBTQ neighbours are heard and supported.
As a symbol of progress for Delta residents, I would like to propose the painting of a rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of 84th Avenue and 112th Street. This will serve as a visual reminder that everyone is welcome in Delta. We all make up the beautiful fabric of our community in our own diverse ways.
Our provincial government has also done amazing work to support the LGBTQ population of this province, such as supporting a provincial sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) curriculum, giving transgender people in B.C. access to publicly funded gender-affirming surgeries within the province, and providing the choice for British Columbians who do not identify as male or female to display an X as a third option in the gender field of their B.C.-issued driver’s licence, identity card, birth certificate and BC Services Card.
I look forward to working with you to ensure that people are supported and included in our beautiful community of Delta.
MLA for Delta North and Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism